Ah, Japan. Home of anime, video games and plenty of other pop culture phenomena, it's hard to think of a world without the East Asian nation. Take a trip to Kobe, Osaka or Yokahoma, and you'll find cities with plenty of culture, history... and kind of odd relationships with food. Japan can be a little... unorthodox with their creations, I guess.
Japanese culinary innovations like sushi or ramen have successfully made their way to our shores, and their version of KFC is almost worth moving there by itself. But on the other hand, you've also got to contend with mayonnaise pancakes, Nicolas Cage corn puffs... and bottles of Coca-Cola that apparently help you to poop better. Neat.
Yes, if you'd like your digestive tract to be less like Tokyo rush-hour traffic and more like the Shinano River, then maybe it's worth heading down to Japan, and buying yourself a couple bottles of Coca-Cola Plus. The Wall Street Journal reports that this Japanese soda has a government-approved ingredient called indigestible dextrin.
In a press release, Coca-Cola themselves say that Coca-Cola Plus should “help suppress fat absorption and help moderate the levels of triglycerides in the blood”, which helps your body to remove waste and hopefully help you lose weight. If you drink too much of it, though, working out how to shed those pounds may be the least of your worries.
Last year, the Japanese goverment gave Coca-Plus (which has zero calories, in case you were wondering) a gold label, certifying it under a category known as the Foods for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU). That is to say: Coca-Cola Plus is so effective as a laxative, it's actually being marketed as a health product, and is in fact Japan's third-healthiest soda.
Seiji Miyata is just one of the people of Japan who enjoy a nice tall glass of Coca-Cola Plus before hurriedly heading to the bathroom for totally unrelated reasons, and I think the 54-year-old art director puts it best: “The only caveat we have is that if you drink too much — it is in there, that you may have loose bowels from overconsumption."
Couldn't have said it better myself, Seiji.
But shockingly, not everyone is on board with a type of Coca-Cola that may cause you to soil yourself without warning. Michicko Kamiyama, a lawyer for Food Safety Citizens’ Watch, is wary of the connations of marketing sodas as "healthy", and says there are plenty of ways to keep constipation at bay without the help of Coca-Cola Plus.
"If you have a well-balanced diet and do an appropriate amount of exercise then you don’t need them. I personally think it is totally ineffective.”
Well, food fans, what do you think? Would you welcome Coca-Cola to our shores, picking up a six-pack of the stuff along with some extra toilet paper? Or are you okay without a soda that helps you poo, secure in the amount of fiber you get every day? I don't know about you, but the next time I head to Japan, I'm going to try this out.
I'll let you know how it goes. Probably from inside a bathroom.